How to Cook Denver Steak

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Grill Denver steaks for your next summer barbecue.
Grill Denver steaks for your next summer barbecue. (Image: Bob Scott/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The tender and well-marbled Denver cut of steak is rich, full of flavor and perfect for the hot grill. Cut from short rib of the chuck muscle, Denver steak is also known as underblade steak and is an inexpensive alternative to a New York Strip or sirloin steak. Although grilling is the favored cooking method, it also works well sauteed in a pan on the stovetop or finished in the oven. Enjoy this hearty steak with a side of cooked greens or a salad

Things You'll Need

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Additional seasoning (optional)

Grilled

Place the Denver steaks in a large, resealable bag and pour a marinade over them. Seal the bag and leave the steaks to marinate for up to 24 hours. You can use a prepared marinade or make your own, using equal parts oil and acidic ingredient, such as red wine vinegar. Add salt, pepper and optional spices such as garlic powder, chili powder and dried herbs, and other flavorings, such as mustard or steak sauce, by the teaspoonful until you reach your desired marinade flavor.

Prepare your grill by brushing the grill grates with oil and bringing the temperature to a medium-high heat of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the steaks out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before you plan to grill, so they can come up to room temperature.

Grill the steaks for about 4 to 5 minutes per side for a medium-rare level of doneness. Cook for a minute or so longer if you prefer them done medium or medium-well.

Remove from the grill and allow the steaks to rest for about 5 minutes, covered with tented aluminum foil to allow the juices to redistribute through the steak.

Saute

Season your steaks generously with sea salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns. Add any additional herbs and spices as you see fit.

Coat a saucepan with vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. The oil will start to shimmer and ripple slightly when it's hot enough.

Place the steaks in the pan and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, until both sides are well-seared and have reached your desired level of doneness. You'll want to add a couple minutes more per side if you want the steaks done medium or medium-well doneness.

Remove from the pan and let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes on a platter covered with aluminum foil before serving.

Roast

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Season the steak generously with salt, pepper and any additional seasonings you prefer.

Coat an oven-safe pan with vegetable or canola oil and place over high heat on the stove. Add the steaks to the piping hot oil and sear for about 1 minute on each side. The steaks should be well browned on both sides.

Transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking the steak, for about 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare and a few minutes longer if you prefer are more medium to medium-well level of doneness.

Remove the steaks from the oven and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes, covered in aluminum foil.

Tips & Warnings

  • After pan-roasting, you can deglaze the saucepan on the stovetop, bringing the drippings to a boil and scraping up any flavorful bits stuck to the pan. Whisk in wine or chicken broth to create a flavorful pan sauce to serve with the steaks.
  • FoodSafety.gov recommends cooking beef to a minimum of 145 F for safe consumption, which will give you about a medium level of doneness.

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